Author
ulillillia
Posts: 362
Registered: ‎02-11-2010

Are Ebooks worth it?

When it comes to Ebooks, I essentially don't know anything about them outside a very few things that are mostly negative.  I do know that they generally sell for a lot less than a regular physical copy, but they make up for that in not having any materials cost (unless you consider hosting and bandwidth, but that's but a few cents).  They also provide a much wider publicity.  However, they don't offer any protection from copying which means that they can easily be transferred between others without further cost, defeating the purpose of having the book for sale.  It's this case that has steered me away from going with Ebooks since 2004 or so.  From what I recall from 2004, they don't sell well either, another strong factor that steered me away.

To help, I would like to know several things revolving around Ebooks:

1.  What restrictions are there (e.g. paper size, file size, margins, page count, etc.)?

2.  How well does an Ebook sell compared to a regular print copy?

3.  For a book that's 273 pages, 6x9 inches with half-inch margins all around, and in B&W, what would the typical cost be for an Ebook?  I have a very wide margin of error:  $2.95 to $9.95

4.  Does a color Ebook cost the same as much as a B&W Ebook or is color more expensive?

5.  Are there any problems going with a color version of my book (aside from a small increase in file size)?

6.  Do I need a special device to view them or is my computer good enough (I only have an MP3 player that's portable so I don't have any cellphones, Ipads, or any of that kind of stuff)?  I've only heard about the Ipad or whatever that thing is being able to view such books.

7.  Is there any copy protection available?  If so, what?  I do know that, as a computer programmer, there are always ways around these so I could still expect some problems (nothing is perfect anyway, by the laws of physics even).

8.  What do I need to convert my book to an Ebook from my source DOC file?

9.  What other details about them do I need to know about?

Thanks for any insight into this.

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Professor
Ken Anderson
Posts: 11,719
Registered: ‎02-11-2010

Re: Are Ebooks worth it?

Good questions.

1. What restrictions are there (e.g. paper size, file size, margins, page count, etc.)?
Paper size and margins are not relevant - an ebook flows the text from screen to screen.
No restrictions on file size or the volume of content (page count).

2. How well does an Ebook sell compared to a regular print copy?
Ebooks are gaining in popularity and sales are increasing month on month.

3. For a book that's 273 pages, 6x9 inches with half-inch margins all around, and in B&W, what would the typical cost be for an Ebook? I have a very wide margin of error: $2.95 to $9.95
The cost is largely irrevelant of page count. What does one think it is worth.

4. Does a color Ebook cost the same as much as a B&W Ebook or is color more expensive?
To buy then ebooks are nromally cheaper than hard.
Colour availability depends upon the type of the ebook reader. Kindle is only black & white where as the iPad can display hi-res colour.

5. Are there any problems going with a color version of my book (aside from a small increase in file size)?
File size of a ebook is smaller than a hard copy book.

6. Do I need a special device to view them or is my computer good enough (I only have an MP3 player that's portable so I don't have any cellphones, Ipads, or any of that kind of stuff)? I've only heard about the Ipad or whatever that thing is being able to view such books.
There are a number of ebook reader emulators that will sit on a PC. Kindle have a PC reader and for epubs there is the Adobe Digital editions.
But one should really use a real ebook reader such as the Apple iPad, Sony Reader, B&N Nook or Amazon Kindle. 


7. Is there any copy protection available? If so, what? I do know that, as a computer programmer, there are always ways around these so I could still expect some problems (nothing is perfect anyway, by the laws of physics even).
Ebooks can have Digital Rights Rights Management that stops copying.


8. What do I need to convert my book to an Ebook from my source DOC file?
For a proper ebook especially if there is any image, table or specila formatting content then the original source files need to be recreated from square one.

9. What other details about them do I need to know about?
Too much to explain in post.

 

 

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Professor
Maggie
Posts: 2,860
Registered: ‎02-11-2010

Re: Are Ebooks worth it?

See this interesting article. 115 ebooks sold for every 100 print books. And it's only going to increase.

http://www.the-digital-reader.com/2011/01/27/amazon-sold-more-ebooks-last-year-than-paperbacks/

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Editor
Peter May
Posts: 2,766
Registered: ‎02-11-2010

Re: Are Ebooks worth it?

 

Once we put our books on Kindle they just started selling

 

My wife's two historical novels have been selling very well on Kindle without her doing any marketing

On Lulu they're

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/roman-sunset/12940750

and

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/roman-twilight/13511567

Peter May's- Storefront
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Author
ulillillia
Posts: 362
Registered: ‎02-11-2010

Re: Are Ebooks worth it?

Thanks for the kind responses.  It appears things have changed so much since I last looked into Ebooks.  As to the responses:

1.  I asked this as Lulu has page size restrictions for print copies - only certain sizes are allowed like 6x9 or 8.5x11.  Distribution (which seems to have failed for me) requires half-inch margins as the minimum which is what I use.  There's also a 740-page limit as well (273 is well within the limits).  Of course, a lot of pages means a lot of memory is needed to store all the text data.

3.  Well, my print copy currently sells for $17.95 (soft cover, 273 pages, B&W, and 6x9).  It costs $9.96 to manufacture.  Ebooks are immune to the manufacturing cost but they, instead, use a bandwidth and hosting cost, of which I have no idea what they would be.  Assuming 50 cents, this points to a price of around $8.49, in a sense.  Does this approach make sense?

4.  I was asking because I would like the stat windows and other things to be in color, but I don't want to pay the otherwise ridiculous cost of 15 cents per page for color in print (does color printing really cost 7 1/2 times as much as B&W - I'd have thought it would be around triple instead).  It's not availability of color that I'm concerned over, it's instead, if it costs more (like color printing on Lulu costs 7 1/2 times as much as the B&W equivalent).  To counter the availability of color issue, I could just provide multiple versions - one in color and the other in B&W.

5.  A print copy has a 0-byte file size - it's not digital.  You haven't otherwise answered the main question though.

6.  Are any of those Ebook readers free or do you have to pay for them?

7.  How effective is this Digital Rights Management (I have heard of it before, but that was with music, of which I don't bother with (I get mine from the video games I play)).

8.  Could you clarify?  I'm confused by what you mean by this.  The images are in my book are have been processed by Lulu several times.  What, do I have to upload them separately?

Thanks for the responses though.

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Author
joanellen
Posts: 49
Registered: ‎02-11-2010

Re: Are Ebooks worth it?

[ Edited ]

Hi Peter! How did you get your books on Kindle? Is this something you can do through Lulu?

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Proofreader
BryceCampbellsbooks
Posts: 138
Registered: ‎02-11-2010

Re: Are Ebooks worth it?

[ Edited ]

ulillillia wrote:

When it comes to Ebooks, I essentially don't know anything about them outside a very few things that are mostly negative.  I do know that they generally sell for a lot less than a regular physical copy, but they make up for that in not having any materials cost (unless you consider hosting and bandwidth, but that's but a few cents).  They also provide a much wider publicity.  However, they don't offer any protection from copying which means that they can easily be transferred between others without further cost, defeating the purpose of having the book for sale.  It's this case that has steered me away from going with Ebooks since 2004 or so.  From what I recall from 2004, they don't sell well either, another strong factor that steered me away.

To help, I would like to know several things revolving around Ebooks:

1.  What restrictions are there (e.g. paper size, file size, margins, page count, etc.)?

2.  How well does an Ebook sell compared to a regular print copy?

3.  For a book that's 273 pages, 6x9 inches with half-inch margins all around, and in B&W, what would the typical cost be for an Ebook?  I have a very wide margin of error:  $2.95 to $9.95

4.  Does a color Ebook cost the same as much as a B&W Ebook or is color more expensive?

5.  Are there any problems going with a color version of my book (aside from a small increase in file size)?

6.  Do I need a special device to view them or is my computer good enough (I only have an MP3 player that's portable so I don't have any cellphones, Ipads, or any of that kind of stuff)?  I've only heard about the Ipad or whatever that thing is being able to view such books.

7.  Is there any copy protection available?  If so, what?  I do know that, as a computer programmer, there are always ways around these so I could still expect some problems (nothing is perfect anyway, by the laws of physics even).

8.  What do I need to convert my book to an Ebook from my source DOC file?

9.  What other details about them do I need to know about?

Thanks for any insight into this.



Things are vastly different between eBooks and print books.  Ken gives some good answers here, but I will add own.

1. There are restrictions of any kind in creation of ebooks. This why poetry and short stories are more often found in eBook form, unless they are part of an anthology.

 

2. For my works, they have not ever outsold the print editions. Some people do better in electronic sales than others.

3. page size, page count, and whether it is in color or black and white is not important.  Some readers will only display your content in grayscale (Black & White), while others will display it as you intend it to be.  Don't bother in making separate eBooks for color and grayscale.

 

4. whether the format is in grayscale (see number 3 to know what I am talking about) or color it does not affect price

 

5. That's an image size problem, not color/grayscale problem.  Color can increase the amount of storage needed for the file as a whole, but the main things are quality of the image and image size, as well as how many layers were used to create it (if it were produced/edited in GIMP or Photoshop) or number of anchor points used (if image was done in Illustrator or Inkscape).  Images straight from a camera are not too much to worry about.

 

6.  No, your computer is good enough and seeing as you want/prefer to see free solutions check out Calibre and FBReader. I find the former better than the latter.

 

7.  This might sound like the most mean part of my post, but I believe it should be stated anyway. Why are you interested in copy protection? You acknowledge that there is a flaw in copy protection schemes, so don't use it.  It can help you gain a wider audience if you avoid this route, since when people share your work with others, they help spread word of you.

 

8. It depends on the format you want. However, PDFs are your easiest solution.  OpenOffice can generate PDFs for you from those DOC files.

 

9.  See Ken's answer.

 

Hopefully this helps.

to see my works, please visit

my storefront
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Professor
Maggie
Posts: 2,860
Registered: ‎02-11-2010

Re: Are Ebooks worth it?

Joanellen,

Here is the link where you upload your Kindle book:

Kindle Direct Publishing

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Professor
kevinlomas
Posts: 17,639
Registered: ‎02-11-2010

Re: Are Ebooks worth it?

[ Edited ]
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Author
joanellen
Posts: 49
Registered: ‎02-11-2010

Re: Are Ebooks worth it?

Thank you, Maggie!

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